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Discussing Atlantis with a friend…

18 Jun

I had dinner with a friend who said, “You have everything you want in one spot. Now I see why you live in Atlantis. You actually have a really great life.”

Exactly. And I do.

It’s a private country club with four golf courses. There are roughly 1000 households in Atlantis. The city of Atlantis is named after the island Atlantis. I live on a lake and a private golf course. We own JFK Hospital which is on our property. We have our own police department and our own fire department for the 2000 residents. We have our own Mayor and city hall.  If I want to fly an airplane, I go out the gate, make a right and I’m right at Palm Beach County Park Airport. Across the street is John Prince Park with a driving range, trails, etc. I’m 10 minutes from the beach. I am done with big houses. I’ve owned several by myself and I am tired of being a slave to the house and the property. I wanted a really nice condo. No worries. I bought one, gutted it and made it what I wanted. The biggest headache was dealing with pulling all the permits because I don’t do any work that’s not permitted.

We have 16 units in the building with our own pool (which has a lake view and a cabana house).  I can walk across the street to the restaurant at the Country Club. When I walk the neighborhoods I walk by half million and million dollar plus properties. I could not get all this anywhere in Palm Beach county. It has everything I need. I am less than 20 minutes to Palm Beach and 20 to Boca and 10 to the beach at Boynton Beach. With all that said however, that is why Atlantis has the highest property taxes of all of Palm Beach County. Because we pay for our own services for 1000 households.

I don’t hear neighbors because all the walls and ceilings are fire walls. They are also taller than standard ceilings. I’m a first floor, corner unit. I’m 20 steps to my car.

I work clients from Boca to Palm Beach. Atlantis is perfectly in the middle of the two.

I’ve been single a long, long time, almost 20 years. I’ve made all the companies by myself, the properties by myself, and each one has a lot of my personality in it. This one represents the stage of my life that I am I am in… Did you know that the buzzards are arriving next month because it will be my 50th birthday? At 50, I don’t care about a big house and big a piece of property. But let me also preface that with I spent four years with G. and that was obviously a lot of property and a lot of house. I spend more time now with friends and socializing and enjoying the things that I like to do in life with the way I have structured my life. I wanted a maintenance free life. Now I have it. The gardeners hare here at least 3 days a week and this building has it’s own full time maintenance person. I’m so glad it’s someone else’s job…

I do love where I live. For me, it’s perfect. I’ve had the big house in the woods. I’ve had the 175 year old Victorian. I built a brand new house on a lake. I’ve had everything. Now I am enjoying this. This allows me to have a more balanced life in all areas. You could say it gives me a lot of freedom. I am in the minority of ownership however, less than 3% are owned solely by women.

For me, it’s about keeping my life simple, beautiful and elegant.

I think sometimes people remember that I own and started Carolina Web Development and Florida Web Development (which are both advertising agencies) and my own design company. But what they forget is that for 4 years on Hilton Head Island, G. and I flipped houses, so I am well trained on what to do with picking and redoing a piece of property. We did a lot of them in four years. I had the design background before I met him. But I learned the real estate side from him. We split up over four years ago. But I know he’s a better designer for having known me and I know a lot more about real estate for having known him. But I had obviously redone properties before I met him. They were not in coastal towns however. Now I understand that side.

It was just a few years ago when I trying to maintain two residences – one in Palm Beach County, FL and one in New Orleans. I remember sitting in the nicest restarraunt in New Orleans having dinner with my mother after I had decided that I wasn’t going to build the theme park in New Orleans.

She said, “What are you going to do?”

“I’ve had enough of the lies and the politics and the flooding problems. I’m shutting it down and I just want to go home to Florida. The culture of this city is really not for me.”

I came. I saw. I planned. I reworked it every which way. I thought about it. I paid a visit to the Voodoo Queen herself. And then I decided it was time to pack up.

And that’s what I did. I liquidated New Orleans and I came home.

———

If you don’t know New Orleans legend, the Voodoo Queen is Marie Laveau. In order to succeed in New Orleans, you must make a visit to her grave site and place the appropriate marks on the tomb and ask for her blessing. She was half Voodoo Queen and half Catholic. The vibe I got from that visit (or maybe it was just all instinct, said, “Don’t do this project. Not right now.”

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